The Denmark-based goalkeeper has been tipped to someday be the Super Eagles’ number 1 goalkeeper
Mark Ugboh, 18, is one of Nigeria’s few goalkeepers plying their trades outside the shores of the country.
The teenage goalkeeper has revealed his ambition to play in the Premier League someday while he also said Manuel Neuer is his goalkeeping idol.
“My big idol is Manuel Neuer from Bayern Munich because he has so much quality. I like his confidence and leadership and he always plays well in the big games,” Ugboh told FCM’s official website.
“A lot of his saves are really good and that’s something I look up to.”
The Premier League is on the eyesight of every Sub-Saharan African footballer and Ugboh is one of them. Being one of the few Nigerian goalkeepers in Europe, he’s in a club with a known history of giving opportunities to Nigerian footballers but Ugboh is the first African goalkeeper at the club.
Current Super Eagles stars, Paul Onuachu, Frank Onyeka and most recently Raphael Onyedika recorded significant successes at the Danish club and got their deserved national berths, a feat the teenage Ugboh will someday be looking forward to achieving too, after being promoted from the Midjtylland U-19s to the first team.
According to the club’s goalkeepers’ coach, he’s on his way to greatness.
“Our task is to teach Mark some things, especially in the technical field. He is already well on his way and is constantly moving. Now we have to work even harder, and we have to have found a way in which we can develop him even more,” says Lasse Heinze.
Ugboh never received goalkeeper training before he got to Denmark
The goalkeeper revealed he was an outfield player for a long time before switching to become a goalie. It was a move he made when he discovered he fared better in goal.
“When Mark came to Denmark, he had never received goalkeeper training before. The things he had learned in Nigeria were self-taught. We brought him up here because he had taught himself some things we really liked. Some of those things are not something you just learn, says Lasse Heinze.
“Mark is so calm to look at. He looks like someone who has stood inside the goal all his life, and he is only 18 years old. He is very, very calm. He is calm with the ball at his feet, makes good choices and is an offensive-minded goalkeeper. He contains the basic things that goalkeepers in FCM should be able to do.
“Being able to read the game and have a fantastic flow in your movements during matches is something you don’t just learn. And he already contains that.”